Since its launch four many years ago, Mumbai FC had not managed to beat Mumbai football’s powerhouse, Air India. Manager Henry Picardo, a former Air India player, kept dreaming in the result.
And that dream couldn’t were realised at a far better occasion than from the final in the Nadkarni Cup. Mumbai FC defeated Air India 2-0 to win the championship at the RCF ground, Chembur, on Monday.
Ebi Sukore Theophilus’s strike from the 40th minute followed by a superb back volley from striker Pc Lalawmpuia from the dying minutes clinched the 104th edition in the tournament for Mumbai FC.
It looked like an I-League encounter over a local tourney as each the sides play from the national tournament. The intensity was high as there was high quality action and drama involved. Some comical errors from the referees added on the excitement.
However, they also raised question marks over some of the decisions taken by them. From the very first half, several Air India players argued in the referee over the rules during a free kick. However, it was resolved amicably.
For most in the opening period, each sides played both equally well, doing inroads to the opponent’s half but they could not capitalise on the opportunities that came their way.
Five minutes ahead of the very first half whistle, Air India’s Samson Singh committed a foul from the box, which resulted inside a penalty kick for Mumbai FC. Ebi obliged by tapping the ball in without having any issue leaving Air India custodian Kunal Sawant, a mere spectator.
Second half as well had some exciting moments as the ball went over the horizontal bar quite a few times, but a 90th minute back volley strike from Lalawmpui finished the game in style in Mumbai FC’s favour.
Picardo, who was in-charge in the team from the absence of coach Khalid Jamil, was all praise of Lalawmpui.
“He is recognized for that. That goal from him sealed the game for us,” mentioned Picardo.
He mentioned he is happy, especially, mainly because his team had defeated the power property of Mumbai.
“It was dream arrive true. Since our team was launched four many years ago, we had never defeated Air India. Beating this sort of a big and tough side gives you high. As far as winning the tournament is concerned, it'll give us a improve ahead of the I-League begins.”
Source: DNA India